Battle to qualify for Betfred World Matchplay darts' return to Blackpool Winter Gardens this summer

The final qualifying events have been confirmed by the Professional Darts Corporation ahead of the Betfred World Matchplay's anticipated return to Blackpool this year.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 4:19 pm
The Betfred World Matchplay was last staged at the Winter Gardens in 2019
The Betfred World Matchplay was last staged at the Winter Gardens in 2019

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No World Matchplay in Blackpool this year as darts spectacular goes behind close...

The summer spectacular is set to be contested at its traditional Winter Gardens home from July 17-25.

Staged there annually since its launch in 1995, the event moved behind closed doors in Milton Keynes last year because of the pandemic and a first-time champion was crowned in Dimitri van den Bergh.

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The final eight Players' Championship events have now been fixed for June and July ahead of the cut-off for World Matchplay qualification.

Sixteen qualifiers will be joined in Blackpool by the world's top 16 in the PDC Order of Merit.

The eight remaining qualifying competitions will take place in two 'PDC Super Series' events, each running over four days. They will be staged at Milton Keynes from June 14-17 and at the University of Bolton Stadium from July 6-9.

Twelve Players' Championships have already been staged this year over three Super Series.

All of this year's 20 Players' Championship will count towards qualifying for the World Matchplay, as will others since July 2019.

PDC chief executive Matt Porter said: "A further two PDC Super Series will mean that players have had 20 Players' Championships this year in the race to the Betfred World Matchplay, with our planned return to the Winter Gardens being a huge incentive for players battling to win a place in that unique event.

"We remain confident of confirming the return of the European Tour in the second half of 2021 and are also continuing to make plans for our Challenge and Development Tours to provide opportunities for players across all levels within the PDC system."

All Players Championship events will be streamed live in PDCTV, with coverage from two boards simultaneously throughout each tournament.